View the 2013 Salary Survey Results

clickzsempo_logo[1]We are pleased to announce that the 4th Annual Salary Survey Results is now available for download.

The report provides an in-depth look into search marketers’ salaries, job roles and responsibilities, verticals/segments, compensation extras and perks, budgets, and more. The results and key findings are compared to previous Salary Survey results in order to evaluate trends in the search marketing job market.

Findings for 2013 include:

– A 10% growth in Entry-Level Employees with 27% of respondents reporting they have been in search for 0-3 years. The majority of these salaries were in the 0-$30K range with some representation in the $30-$60K range.
– Top Salaries including for VPs decreased and the number of respondents in the top four salary ranges also decreased.
– The average salary across the board decreased from $75,543 to $68,600.
– Holistic marketing that included a combination of organic and paid grew by 11%. Additional growth was in search combined with email and online media efforts.
– 64% of respondents report up through the Marketing Department rather than to a Search or IT department.

Conducted in January 2013, the survey was completed by 2,180 respondents. The 4th Annual Salary Survey was fielded by the SEMPO Research Committee in conjunction with ClickZ. The 23-question survey collected data from both in-house advertisers and third-party agency personnel including SEMPO members and non-members.

SEMPO members can view the detailed survey findings for free by downloading the 2013 Salary Survey here. You can also see how the search marketing landscape industry has changed by viewing SEMPO’s past Salary Surveys here.

Past Salary Surveys are available to non-SEMPO members as well but the current Salary Survey is only available to members. To become a SEMPO Member and view the 2013 Salary Survey results, please click here.

How Important Is a Mobile-Optimized Site for Your Business?

Mobile-optimized websites are no longer a luxury, but a necessity. If you want to stay relevant and attractive to your visitors, you need to provide them with easier access through their various devices.

If you have a website, the good news is that your business is accessible from any device. The problem is that your site may look very bad if it’s not mobile-optimized, which will create poor user experience and lead to low CRO. While over 50% of people surfing the Internet use their mobile devices to do so, only 21% of all website are mobile-friendly.

The trend to mobile is unstoppable, and Google is constantly pushing the creation of mobile websites. It won’t be surprising if this friendly graphic turns into a ranking factor in the near future.

s1

It is obvious that the growing trend is to think of mobile first and desktop second. This is a hard thing to accept, but all programmers can already see the trend and thus are beginning to apply the change to their work.

“Google programmers are doing work on mobile application first because they are better apps and that’s what top programmers what to develop” –Eric Schmidt. Google Chairman

We really need to shift now to start thinking about building mobile first. This is an even bigger shift than the PC revolution” – Kevin Lynch CTO Adobe

The future of the web is mobile design. There is new device every day, and more and more we find ourselves reaching out to our mobile devices to use the internet.

The Importance of a Mobile-Optimized Website

Wherever you go, you undoubtedly see people on all kinds of mobile devices surfing the web. Over half of Americans who have cell phones use their phone to surf the web, so there are clear benefits that highlight the importance of these features. One of the greatest benefits is that mobile-optimized websites provide a better user experience and increase usability, which should be the ultimate end goal aside from increasing a company’s ROI.

It has been deemed a best practice to have a mobile-optimized website, and Google itself recommends the practice of using responsive web design. New websites that are in development should design with mobile in mind, and existing websites should seriously consider optimizing for mobile use. Here’s an inside look at each type of mobile website optimization:

Mobile Design

There are two types of mobile design. The first type consists of an original website and a sub domain dedicated for the mobile version: www.example.com and m.example.com. Can you guess which one is the mobile version? In this form of mobile design, “m.” prefaces the original URL and visitors are redirected to the mobile version when they access the website from a tablet or smartphone. The mobile website is a sub domain, which makes it completely different website than the main one. The mobile version of the website is created specifically to be used on mobile devices, and it usually offers a link with the option to use the regular site instead. This is the old way of doing mobile design and is not the best option available today. Some downfalls include the risk of duplicate content, multiple URLs, and updates have to be done both on the regular and mobile version.

s2The second form of mobile design is a website that has multiple CSS files (or only one with multiple options for screen size). In this situation, the server determines which type of device is being used, and then it can pull up the specific CSS for a computer, a smartphone, or a tablet. This is the best way to do mobile design. It requires a little more work but it is well worth it.

The difference between the two is that in the first one, there are two completely different websites with different CSS, template, and layout, and in the second, it is the same website but just with three different templates to respond to three types of devices. Both styles of mobile design exist specifically for the purpose of simplifying and enhancing website access on mobile devices.

s3

s4

Some advantages:

– The most aesthetically pleasing
– More user friendly
– Only one URL
– Easy to maintain

Responsive Template Design

Responsive template design is the most common approach, although it is not necessarily the best. It is popular because it is often the easiest. It allows a website to be accessible on all devices, regardless of screen size, without CCS changes or additions. Responsive design uses a single template, and the CSS can “sense” the size of the screen so that it can adjust the elements of the page to fit in a cascading manor. It takes the modules with the highest priority and places them first, with the rest of the modules following in order of priority. By default, the modules on the top left are the most important while those on the bottom right are the least important. That way, when a user is scrolling down on a responsive design website, they will see the most important features of the website first. In this sense, responsive design is a “one size fits all” solution, but that doesn’t mean that it is the best solution. Here are the pros and cons:

s5

Pros

– High user experience and navigation from mobile to desktop.
– Consistent content and easier to update the website.
– Easier with stats – no need to split traffic between two versions of your website.
– Only one URL.

Cons

– New to SEO and might need some fine tuning before we see the optimal result on responsive templates.
– Responsive design could make a website load slower as it adjusts to the appropriate screen size.
– Responsive websites are more complex to code.
– Responsive design is one size fits all, which is usually reflected in the final look of your website.

Successful Brands that Optimized

There are many brands that have successfully employed one of the above options.

s6

Sun Maid, Gateway Bank, and Caribou Coffee have all implemented interactive, interesting, and appealing designs for mobile use. Each of them is different in the features offered. For example, the Sun Maid and Caribou Coffee websites look similar with the menu options, but Caribou Coffee’s website has a convenient slider that switches between pictures on the home page, revealing their latest specials and offers.

Overall, a website that has been optimized for mobile use is the best option for increasing brand awareness. Mobile-optimized websites are designed to deliver faster downloading and browsing speeds, plus they are more cost effective than developing an app. In addition, companies that optimize their websites for mobile use have a competitive advantage when compared to their competitors who do not optimize.

 

How To Create Leads Through Your Content

Content, content, content. There’s a lot of talk about the importance of content. But does it really make that big of a difference? You better believe it. The right content can attract new customers and help SEO for your site, which results in all the precious leads. According to B2B Infographics, 92% of SEO practitioners say content creation is an effective SEO tactic, and 76% regularly invest in content creation.

Let’s take a step back and start at the beginning. Content is a cycle that helps create brand awareness, website traffic, and leads and build relationships. Your social media presence, blog, email marketing, and paid search work together for consumers to find your business online. All of these activities increase brand awareness. Then, your engaging content sends customers directly to your website, where they can scope out your business.

Content also improves your SEO by helping your website get indexed faster, increasing rankings for search terms, and increasing domain ranking.  It’s a win-win. According to iMedia Connection, 71% of marketers say that content marketing has helped improve their site’s ranking in organic search, and 77% say it has increased website traffic.

So we understand why it’s important but how can using content be put into action to generate leads?

1. Create a mix

Develop a mix of both paid and owned content to generate leads. Mixing PPC ads and social media ads along with engaging content will allow new customers to become aware of your business. In combination with your engaging content, customers will never want to leave.

Image

2. Get creative

There are numerous ways to reach customers through engaging content. One way to reach customers and build relationships is through email. For example, after a customer makes a purchase, offer them a discount if they review your product. This will not only show that you care about what customers think but also provides incentives for making another purchase. You just generated another lead through content (Go you!).

3. Drive it back home

Consistently linking content and paid search back to your website will help drive traffic to your website, therefore creating leads. Whether it’s a blog post, mobile app, or a Facebook ad, every piece should have a website link. Provide a contact form on each page, ask for feedback, post customer reviews, and get customer contact information to continually generate leads.

Once you’ve executed your plan, it’s time to analyze your success. Determine the cost per lead by using your PPC amount and the number of leads you received. Use Google Analytics to determine the number of clicks from social to your website. By analyzing the data, you can make informed decisions to decrease your costs and increase your profits.

iMedia Connection found that 70% of marketers say that content marketing has increased their brand awareness,59% believe it supports sales growth, and 45% say it has reduced their advertising costs. After analyzing the data, it’s important to remember that generating leads through engaging content is an ongoing cycle that can play an integral role in your business’ success.

 

10 Tips to Creating Engaging, Optimized Content

Compelling website content is the key to engaging with your audience. It needs be unique, shareable, and useful for the reader, as well as optimized to help attract/influence search engines… Let’s go back to the basics with 10 tips to writing engaging, optimized content:

1. Headline – When it comes to creating content, a headline needs to be compelling. Why? Simply because it is the first thing readers look at. When trying to write a headline, keep in mind that it should draw in readers and give them (and search engines) a very concise idea of what your content will be about.

2. Show and Tell – Write your article as if you were writing your English papers back in college. Back up your points with reliable sources (links when possible) as this will make your content more credible. Also consider using graphics to reinforce key points (see below for more on this).

3. The 5 W’s – Try to answer the “who, what, when, where, and why” questions as concisely as possible. When each of these questions are answered, your content becomes more useful and more likely to be shared.

4. KISS (“Keep It Simple Stupid”) – Most of the time, content that is to the point keeps readers interested and more likely to read through the whole article; put away those thesauruses and avoid using jargon!

5. Meta Description – Like the headline, the meta description is what search engines use in their results listing to let your readers know exactly what your content is about. Try to be as specific as possible so as to capture your reader’s attention.

6. Optimize with Keywords – A very easy way for your content to be easily searched and receive higher traffic is by implementing the use of keywords. Focus on a single keyword or keyword phrase for each piece of content. Include several “natural/conversational” keyword mentions but don’t overdo it. Remember, it’s always quality over quantity.

7. Images – Like keywords, images are what draw readers to your content. Remember, search engine bots don’t see pictures, so be sure to optimize your images. This can be done by including a descriptive file name, alt text, and a caption for your images.

8. Summary – As a conclusion to your content, always recap what you are trying to say in the article. For some readers, the conclusion is where they draw most of the information, or at least tidbits of the information.  It’s also a good place to encourage feedback from your readers.

9. Revision – When you believe you have finished writing your article, think again. Always revise and edit until you cannot revise anymore. Then don’t be afraid to make more changes to the content if it’s not getting the readership you expected.

10. Social Sharing – Finally, include social sharing features on each page of your website. When people share your content through social, it can help your website rankings.

Try out different tips to see what works for you and what doesn’t. Always experiment until you’ve come to the right recipe for drawing readers to your website.

Do you have a tip for writing engaging, optimized content? Share in the comments below: